How Many Rakat are in Isha Prayer? Learn How to Perform Them

Posted By Johnson Ajiboye

The Isha prayer holds great significance for Muslims as it is the final prayer of the day and a demonstration of their faith.

This prayer consists of various rakat combinations of prayers and prostrations. Here, we’ll explore the mandatory and optional rakat of Isha, how to perform them, and compare the number of rakat with the other daily prayers.

Understanding the Rakat of Isha

  • 1. Fard Rakat: The Isha prayer begins with 4 mandatory rakat known as Fard. These rakat involve proclaiming “Allahu Akbar” and moving between standing, kneeling, and prostrating. The Fard rakat forms the core of the Isha prayer.
  • 2. Sunnah Ghair mu’akkadah: Following the Fard rakat, there are 4 non-confirmed Sunnah rakat. These are optional prayers that were occasionally performed by the Prophet Muhammad.
  • 3. Sunnah mu’akkadah: The Isha prayer also includes 2 confirmed Sunnah rakat, which the Prophet Muhammad always performed. These rakat are highly recommended but optional.
  • 4. Nafl: There are 2 Nafl rakat in the Isha prayer. Nafl prayers are completely optional and are said to draw a person closer to Allah.
  • 5. Witr: The Witr prayer is a unique aspect of Isha. While some consider it voluntary, others believe it is obligatory. The Witr prayer consists of 3 rakats, and you can perform 1, 3, 5, 7, or 9 rakats.

Performing the Rakat of Isha

  • 1. Prepare for Prayer: Begin by performing wudu, the ritual cleansing. Wear appropriate clothing, ensuring modesty and covering the required body parts according to Islamic guidelines.
  • 2. Focus on Intention: Clear your mind and set your intention to pray, known as niyyat. Raise your hands and proclaim “Allahu Akbar” to start the prayer.
  • 3. Recite Surat al-Fatiha: Stand and recite Surat al-Fatiha, the first chapter of the Qur’an. You may choose to recite another passage from the Qur’an as well.
  • 4. Perform the Physical Movements: Follow the sequence of standing, bowing, and prostrating as guided by the prayer. Recite specific supplications and praises during each position.
  • 5. Complete the First Rak’ah: Finish the first rak’ah by returning to the prostrating position and reciting “Subhaana Rabbiy-al-Aalaa” thrice.
  • 6. Repeat the Second Rak’ah: Stand up and repeat the same movements as in the first rak’ah, reciting the necessary prayers and supplications.
  • 7. Finish the Third and Fourth Rak’ah: Repeat the second rak’ah to complete the third and fourth rak’ahs, reciting the Tashahud to finish each rak’ah.

Optional Prayers

  • 1. Sunnah and Nafl Prayers: Isha offers opportunities to perform additional optional prayers, such as Salat ul Taubah, Salaat ul Istikhaarah, and Tahajjud. These prayers can be performed before or after the obligatory Fard rakat.
  • 2. Witr Prayer: The Witr prayer can be performed alongside the Fard rakat of Isha. It consists of 3 rakat and involves reciting specific supplications and praises.

Comparison with Other Daily Prayers

  • 1. Fajr: Fajr prayer consists of 2 Fard rakat.
  • 2. Dhuhr and Asr: Dhuhr and Asr prayers consist of 4 Fard rakat.
  • 3. Maghrib: Maghrib prayer consists of 3 Fard rakat.

Each daily prayer also includes additional Sunnah and Nafl rakat that can be performed.


The Isha prayer is a sacred act of devotion for Muslims, comprising mandatory and optional rakat. By understanding the number of rakat and how to perform them, individuals can engage in this significant prayer with reverence and connection to Allah.

Remember, while the Fard rakat is obligatory, the Sunnah, Nafl, and Witr rakat are optional but hold special benefits.

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